Sunday, 8 December 2019

An Account Of Political Gloom

Updated: October 15, 2011 5:09 pm

This book brings to the fore the darker side of our establishment, public life and exposes ugly sides of the media too. The 424-page book, divided in six parts, contains 23 chapters, in which a central theme runs through. These chapters narrate all that are plaguing our system, politics, criminal justice system, its instruments, the enforced agencies of manipulation, corruption, lack of integrity and distortions, and of institutional deficiencies and lack of will to change and reform these. To be precise, the book focuses on the broader perspective of politics of crime and corruption, with their alarming proportions. Today, things are much worse, seriously threatening our body politic and the system. One scam follows the other both at the Central and State levels with allegations of ‘loot’ of public money, stashing of huge sums of black money in tax-haven countries, and the culprits going scot-free. The people have lost faith in the system and its efficacy to deal with the situation.

In one chapter, the writer outlines that persons facing serious charges of corruption and other grave crimes are entering the union cabinet and holding the important portfolios. It had never happened before. What we are witnessing today is the criminalisation of the central government. Corruption remains unchecked. Even today, India continues to rank high among the most corrupt countries in the world. In another chapter the book emphasises that the menace of criminalisation has permeated just about every facet of our lives and politics and is now dangerously eating up the services, law-enforcement machinery, etc. Its evil grip does not seem to have spared education either. However, in the most menacing way, it has affected politics and the entire political class. Politicians, to a large extent, foster it, use it and provide a protective umbrella to it. In turn, criminalisation subverts good governance, rule of law, and consequently, the economic growth and development. It has already created an anarchical situation in several pockets of north India, demolishing all semblances of orderly life.

This has not happened in one day. With bungling, corrupt interference in cases involving persons in high places, meaningful reforms getting stalled and enforcement agencies made to look defunct, this was coming. The book deals with all this besides formulating and updating the long-pending reforms, which would strength the existing institutions and make them robust, rather than demolish them. Disgusted with the present state of affair in the country, people are now taking to the streets. It is necessary that these are channelised in right direction.

In order to rein in the growing corruption, the author suggests judicial reforms, which are strengthening of the justice disposition system at the village panchayat level, creation of alternative dispute resolution mechanism, such as arbitration, etc, complete overhaul of the old, outdated Evidence Act and Criminal Procedure Act, so as to ensure speedy and fair justice delivery process, effective modalities for investigation into corruption charges against superior judges, such as which could also take care of independence and majesty of higher judiciary. The book, however, is by no means an account of despondency, good and positive sides are not left out. The book ends on an optimistic note. Based on author’s personal experiences, the last two chapters have the message that there is always moral support and a reward for honest and upright.

By Ashok Kumar

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